How to Capitalize on Big Events and Holidays for Your Marketing Campaigns

As 2021 gets into swing, one strategy to consider to draw extra attention to your business is event marketing. Everything from major events, like Super Bowl Sunday, to national holidays and awareness days, to more playful events, like National Cheese Lover’s Day, provide opportunities to align your brand with what your customers care about.

Beyond relating to customer interests, there are other benefits to embracing big events for your marketing and advertising efforts. Holidays and events are top of mind for consumers and often come with spikes in demand for certain products. Even at their most basic level, events are an excuse to have a sale!
Event marketing also helps you showcase relevant products and services, supports your marketing and sales goals, and allows you to engage with people in your community. In order to capitalize on these advantages, businesses need to make the most of their event promotions. Here’s how.

Get Your Message Across in a Big Way

To promote your business effectively in relation to an event, your marketing needs to be big, bold, and undeniable. Make it clear that you’re tying a sale or value proposition to an event-themed message. Create custom signage with eye-catching designs that makes people want to pay attention to what you’re advertising. Above all, you want to generate excitement around the event.

To achieve these goals, utilize both interior and exterior display signage, and don’t be afraid to explore custom shapes and sizes. Flags, a-frames, and sidewalk signs draw in foot traffic. Window and floor clings make great use of otherwise empty space to promote specific products or discounts. Banners and hanging signs make a big statement about what you’re offering. Table tents and point-of-sale signs help drive home the message. And, don’t forget about wayfinding signage to help customers easily navigate to what they’re looking for.

Align Your Marketing Campaigns

Simply having signage isn’t enough to capitalize on the momentum of a major event. To really harness the occasion, you’ll need to align your marketing campaigns, too. This includes the messaging of the campaign, the target audience, and the channels you use.

The most effective marketing campaigns are personalized and relevant to the recipient. Don’t just pitch a deal to everyone; make sure there’s a measure of authenticity in your marketing. Use recognizable messaging and images that tie in with the event, and target the right customers for your message. Show them that the occasion means something to you and that you know it means something to them—whether it’s “go team!” for the Super Bowl, a heartfelt message for Memorial Day, or a show of support for International Nurses Day.

Finally, coordinate your campaign around a timeline leading up to the event, and use the right materials to promote it. By utilizing both print and digital channels, you can pinpoint the right medium for each message you plan to send. Direct mail in the weeks leading up to the event can raise awareness. Email is a no-cost way to market to a broad range of customers multiple times prior to an event. Point-of-sale collateral can generate additional interest. And, of course, social media is a great tool for engaging in a two-way conversation with your audience before, during, and after the event.

Share Freebies and Promo Products

Branded promotional products add a tangible element to your campaigns. A few freebies can turn a face-to-face interaction into something more memorable. Plus, they keep your brand top of mind long after the event or holiday has passed.

Slapping your name on anything just won’t do it, though. Branded promo items are most successful when the product is a unique, useful giveaway that can be used over and over again. But it doesn’t stop there—choose items relevant to the holiday or event for maximum appeal. For example, a logoed hot beverage tumbler for National Hot Tea Day. Relevant products are meaningful products—especially when they’re free!

Tie in Charitable Giving

One of the best ways to make a meaningful splash in event marketing is to tie in charitable giving. People are much more apt to participate in a campaign that contributes to a good cause or gives back to their community. Demonstrate that there’s something beyond profits, and you’ll increase the appeal of spending money with your business.

Choosing a charitable cause to invest in humanizes your brand and makes customers feel like they’re playing a role in something bigger than a simple transaction. It also helps you build relationships with people in your community. For example, participate in a volunteer day to clean up your community for Earth Day, or donate a portion of your proceeds to a charitable organization for something like Mental Health Awareness Month. If your charitable cause is close to home, it will mean that much more for your customers.

Big Events Mean Big Opportunities for Marketing

Big or small, holidays and events are an opportunity to have a little fun with your marketing while remaining relevant with your audience. To capitalize on them, start planning ahead now! Look at the calendar and start strategizing to align your marketing with an upcoming event—whether it’s a national holiday, local event, or something totally off the wall.

8 Ways to Rethink Your Marketing Strategy in 2021

The new year is always a good time to get a fresh start. For businesses, 2020 was all about keeping up, reacting quickly, and trying to stay afloat. Though the pandemic will inevitably follow us into 2021, you can prepare by building a marketing strategy that positions your business for long-term growth.

Get ahead in 2021 with these eight tips for rethinking your marketing strategy.

1. Apply What You Learned in 2020

Chances are your business had to pivot your marketing in response to the pandemic. Maybe you launched a content campaign or built up your online presence through digital advertising. Whatever new ideas you tried, now is the time to analyze your results. Mine your data to understand what tactics worked best and what messages resonated most with your audiences, then carry them through into your 2021 marketing plan.

2. Refresh Your Branding

Even in a normal year, brands can shift and change as the business grows. With all the uncertainty in 2020, your brand likely evolved to meet the challenges. Take a close look at your branding to see if it still represents your brand values, your business, and what you have to offer. If not, take time in 2021 to give your branding a refresh to help you reconnect with your audiences.

3. Revisit Your Target Audiences

Just as your branding may be due for a refresh, your target audiences are also worth a second look. How we do business has changed, which could mean your customer base has changed too.

Perhaps you offered a new product or service that caters to an entirely different audience, or your existing customers took advantage of expansions in your product line. Find out by looking at your sales data from the past year and identifying common characteristics among your top customers. Once you determine who your target audiences should be, you can customize your marketing efforts to speak to their values and interests.

4. Focus on Building Trust

Trust is the foundation of customer loyalty, and now more than ever, loyalty is essential for a business’s success. That’s why in 2021, most of your marketing efforts should be focused on building trust and strengthening relationships with your customers.

Content marketing offers an opportunity to do just that. Content comes in many forms, but it all boils down to giving your audience what they’re looking for. Whether that’s education, entertainment, inspiration, or solutions to their biggest challenges, putting out regular, relevant content will demonstrate your brand’s value and expertise, giving your customers a reason to return again and again.

5. Personalize Your Campaigns

Personalization is not just “nice to have”—it’s an expectation. If your marketing messages aren’t relevant to the recipient, they are more likely to be ignored or deleted. By leveraging your customer data, you can create highly targeted content for both digital and print.

Here are some quick wins in personalization:

  • Align the messaging to your audience’s interests, values, and needs.
  • Use images that reflect who your audience is. Demographics are important, but remember to focus on other characteristics too, such as lifestyles, activities, and locations.
  • Make suggestions or recommendations based on past activity.
  • Visualize data in an infographic, like a customer’s history or involvement with your business over the past year.

6. Create Brand Experiences

Gone are the days when marketing was a one-way conversation. Now there are so many ways to engage your customers with your brand. In 2021, try your hand at some of these marketing techniques.

  • Develop interactive content that fosters engagement, such as videos, quizzes, or games.
  • Spark a conversation and empower users to respond through comments and direct messages.
  • Curate user-generated content to add authenticity to your brand, such as customer photos, reviews, and testimonials.
  • Go above and beyond expectations by sending personalized packages to complement your virtual initiatives.
  • Create immersive brand experiences with an experiential marketing approach.

7. Incorporate Print into Your Marketing Strategy

If you’ve been focusing your marketing efforts primarily on digital platforms, the new year presents an opportunity to re-examine the value of print marketing for your business. Print grabs attention and allows you to create memorable touchpoints in the customer journey. It also helps you sidestep the challenge of digital fatigue by reaching consumers in a different medium. Plus, print can bolster your digital marketing efforts by driving traffic to your website, social media pages, apps, or other online channels.

8. Ramp Up Your Online Presence

Your website is still one of your brand’s best marketing tools. While other digital channels are great for engagement, your website is where customers will go to learn more about your business and to make purchases.

First and foremost, you want your website to be optimized for search engines so people can find it. SEO is an ongoing process; it’s a good idea to regularly evaluate your content and address any technical issues with your site before they impact your rankings.

But beyond that, take time early in the year to make updates to your content depending on how your business has shifted during the pandemic. Does your site include information about new products or services you offer? Does it reflect your new hours and operating procedures? Is it easy for users to find how to contact you? If not, these are some quick changes to make to your website to ensure a more user-friendly experience.

Most of All, Stay Agile in 2021

While we’re all hoping for a resolution and return to normal life in 2021, we don’t know what’s going to happen. Make sure that any marketing plans you put in place are still nimble and flexible, so your business can adapt quickly to unexpected changes.

Do You Know Your Target Market?

We all want to grow our businesses, but how do you go about it? Whether targeting a specific industry, or a specific demographic, what is the best way to get noticed?  Simply put: identify their PAIN points! People and businesses respond to marketing that helps them alleviate their pains.  Just as you go to the doctor to heal your ailments, your marketing should seek to heal your clients’.

Step 1: Figure out your target audience. It sounds easy to do, but narrowing down your target audience is not always as simple as you think. There are many factors involved in list building, including business size, gender, education level—but what is the determining factor? Your optimal target market may very well be different than you think. What elements have you tested to determine your optimal target? Your company should target the industries and demographics that make it the most money. Once you have recognized where your bread and butter comes from, you can move onto identifying the pain points.

Step 2: Who do you go to? You’ve figured out who you want to go after. Maybe it’s business professionals between ages 25 — 50, or members of the financial industry. Now, how do you know what their pain points are? You likely have an inkling what your target market’s biggest concerns are, but to have a successful campaign, it is always wise to do a little research. Talk to clients in your target audience; Make sure you only promote what you can actually provide. What is the one thing you do better than everyone else? How does this match up with the pain points of your clients?

Ask them what they need help with the most. What are the most frustrating tasks for them within their company, or the industry in general? Sales people are another great resource for learning what concerns and excites their clients. No individual or company is perfect, so there is always room for improvement somewhere.

Step 3: How to use the new-found knowledge? Now you understand what bothers your target audience the most. You can definitely develop a marketing campaign to promote the solutions to the issue, but you have to be prepared to follow through with your solution and promises.

If you promise the fastest turnaround time in the industry, a great pain point for many industries, then your marketing campaign will bring people to your door. But if you can’t follow through, then the campaign is useless. Make sure you only promote what you can actually provide. What is the one thing you do better than everyone else? How does this match up with the pain points of your clients? Do they align?

Step 4: You know what you want to say. You have your messaging down, so what medium do you choose to convey your message? That depends on your target audience. Different target audiences will respond best to different medium types. For example, the younger generation will be much more susceptible to a text message campaign, while an older audience might feel that the text message is intrusive. If you are trying to reach a more protected audience, such as executive level types, a dimensional mailer may be the most effective way to get through the door.

Think long and hard about who your audience is, what the limitations of your specific medium are, and if there are any better choices out there.  Most of the time, you will need to use multiple mediums and multiple touches to get your message across loud and clear. Just as you shouldn’t assume you know your target market without testing, you need to evaluate which marketing channels and response mechanisms will elicit the best responses from your target market.

So as you plan your next marketing campaign, keep in mind that the most effective campaigns start with a solid list in a defined target market, and a well-delivered message tailored to relieve that audience’s pain points.  ALMOST as simple as saying: “Take two and call me in the morning.”